Even as Asean goes about forming the Asean Community in 2015, a major regional controversy is brewing in the Mekong Delta, where a Malaysian firm Mega First Corporation Bhd plans to build a 256MW dam.
A few news items caught my attention recently.
The first one is datelined Bukit Mertajam, the link for which I put up recently:
The United States recently downgraded Malaysia and three other countries to Tier 3 – the lowest possible ranking – in its annual Trafficking of Persons (TIP) Report due to insufficient action taken to prevent human trafficking and forced labour. We are in the same group as Zimbabwe, North Korea and Saudi Arabia! See this Guardian report: ‘US penalises Malaysia for shameful human trafficking record’.
And the second revelation is about dead bodies, some of them reportedly foreigners, found dumped in and around the Bukit Mertajam area:
While the authorities are busy investigating nudists scampering around at Teluk Kampi, an even more outrageous saga is taking place under our nose.
Don’t discriminate. Instead, treat people as you would like to be treated, says Obama, in a message to youth that strikes close to home.
I came across this eye-witness account of the scene around KL during then US president Lyndon Johnson’s visit to Malaysia on 30 October 1966. His visit to Malaysia took place a year after the United States deployed regular combat troops to Vietnam, following its stepped up involvement after the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. Apart from Malaysia, his tour of South-East Asia took him to Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. In next-door Indonesia, in the transition to US-backed Suharto’s New Order regime, a massive anti-communist purge that killed over 500000 people had subsided by March 1966. (more…)